Tag Archives: New Year

Finding Myself In 2014!

2014 ends in two days, ushering in 2015. In the last weeks leading up to the new year I have been doing a lot of reflections. Sometimes consciously and other times randomly. It wasn’t so much of a great year for me as I had hoped. So many challenges I faced and so many new things I discovered about myself this year.

Just two days ago, I was having a slumber party with a girlfriend and we got talking about men and relationships and I realized, I am totally okay being alone. After my breakup in January of this year, I got the chance to go on a few dates and meet different men, but not once did I feel the pressure to say yes to their proposal of a relationship. It took 2014 to make me understand the reason why I got into a relationship that almost ruined me a few years back was because of pressure, the need to belong.

I had been going through a dark time that year especially and nothing seemed to work in my favor. Every where around me, my friends were all happy and achieving great things and meeting amazing men and I literally had nothing going for me. I felt like a failure, which pushed me to get into a relationship with someone I knew from the beginning wasn’t right for me but did it anyways because I was desperate to show people that I was capable of getting a man too.

This year though I discovered a whole new me in that regard. I had two friends get engage this year, one got married and two had babies, all happy events and from the bottom of my heart, I was and I am happy for my friends. But I did not feel the pressure of trying to get with the next man as if I had something to prove. It felt good to go on a date without the expectations of it turning into something more.

I have always been an introvert, never liked parties or being in huge crowds but I was made to feel as though something was wrong with me for being the way I am. It is not that I don’t like people’s company, It is that I like my own space and I am more of a one-on-one social person instead of the crowds. So this year, I discovered nothing is wrong with me and just as it is normal for people to enjoy being in crowds, it is as much normal for me to enjoy my own space.

I discovered that it is completely okay for me to say how I feel and I am especially thankful to WordPress for helping me find my voice. When I started this blog, I knew what I wanted it to be about, to share my challenges and experiences and hope to encourage someone or be in turn encouraged, but I was afraid. What if nobody even bothered to read, what if people criticized me instead or didn’t accept my views? But I realized that not every one has to like me, not every one has to accept my views and yet, I am totally and completely allowed to have those views, to have a voice, to say what I feel whether or not anybody reads.

I discovered that sometimes, you just need to go with the flow and not plan every detail because half of the time, it never works out the way we intend to. All the resolutions that I had for 2014 practically never materialized, not one. So for 2015, I have nothing. No resolution. Except to live, take it one day at time and embrace the changes if any as they come. So much I want to do but no plans or resolutions, I am going to live them and do them as God gives me life.

I discovered that despite my best efforts, things would always go wrong. The financial challenges this year were enormous. Twice I was close to being homeless and I am still bordering on the gate right now and this is despite my best financial responsibilities. I am not one to misuse money or spend frivolously and I always budget my funds, somehow, it is never enough. I have learned to deal with the uncertainty better. Before I would be freaking out and be near a panic or anxiety attack but now, I take a deep breath and calm myself down, because a solution I found only comes when I have a clear mind.

This year I discovered the power of God and that despite my good plans, His plans are always better. There is this game the devil always plays, at least I know he does with me. When he knows that I need something badly from God and I don’t get it, he plays this trick with my mind like “maybe he is not listening to me or he doesn’t think I deserve what asked for”. Soon after, I would feel beaten down, defeated and a looser. Thanks to my mother, now I know better that when a prayer goes unanswered, it is not because God is ignoring me or He thinks I don’t deserve it. He gives one of three answers always , yes – when He approves of my want, wait – when the timing for my want is not right or no – when he has something better, a better plan for me.

By many standards, whoever is judging, this year would be termed a failure for me but I take it in stride with gratefulness to God for having allowed me to see this year and hopefully the next. I may have not achieved half of the things I hoped for but I guess that’s the reason why the saying “where there is hope there is life” exist. If I were to attempt at a resolution this year, then it would be to “live my best life” as Oprah would say it. To grab every opportunity which comes my way, to look at the bigger picture always while savoring the moment I am given, to be a better version of me this time next year, to be a better daughter, sister, friend, and especially a better CHRISTIAN.

Do you care to share your reflections about the year? What did you discover about yourself? What are you grateful for?

Happy New Year to all and see you in 2015.

Grieving, Or Lack Thereof

I woke up this morning not very bright or positive, and I wasn’t my usual bubbly self either but I wasn’t sure why. I proceeded with my day and updated this blog, then I went to work. I work with kids and there is no way to be gloomy around them. So I went about my work duties.

At about 10am this morning, my dad called me and the first thing he said was ‘I should hold my mind and be strong’. My adrenaline shot up and I began to panic. All kinds of things started going through my mind and then he repeated himself. This time, his voice was shaky and I could feel the tears, pain, sorrow in his voice. My dad was crying.

I immediately remembered the only time in my life I had seen my dad cry before was when my grandmother, his mother died. I knew instinctively this wasn’t good. I braced myself. It took him another few seconds before he said my uncle was dead.

I had just brought my kids (the kids I nanny for) to a bookstore for story time and we were just about to alight from the car when my dad called. So I went still when he said that  and asked him which of my uncles. He replied me ‘Pa Georgy’ as we usually called him. My heart stopped.

He was my father’s older brother. I sat there and I didn’t know what to tell my dad. He was clearly distraught and I didn’t know what to tell him. I asked if he was sick and dad said he wasn’t. He said he actually spoke to him yesterday on new year’s day and that his wife said,they found him unconscious and rushed him to the hospital only for him to be pronounced dead.

My dad said he would let me know the funeral details later. I went in to the bookstore for story time and met a bunch of nannies. Everybody was in a good mood and talking and the kids were playing. I found myself putting up a face. I didn’t get a chance to sob even for a few minutes and I was on my feet all day.

But I did get a few minutes to myself here and there and I found that when I thought about my uncle, there were no tears. I felt sorry that he is dead. I felt bad about all the motions that my father must be going through because he was and is very close with all his siblings. I felt sorry for my cousins and his wife. I felt sorry for the whole family. I felt bad internally and really sad and sorrowful but I couldn’t bring myself to cry.

I was wondering if that made me a bad person. I knew my uncle, he visited often as did I and my siblings to his family. We are close with our cousins, so I expected that hearing such news, I would breakdown and fall apart. But I didn’t. I am confused this evening with myself. Per my culture, we grief very differently from others and our grief is very visible.

So I kind of felt disappointed that I tried to cry but I couldn’t. I know I miss my uncle so much. I had not seen him in seven years but I remember him vividly. In my mind’s eye, I could still see him cracking his very subtle jokes, making everyone laugh but himself and he had a walk that commanded respect and audience. I miss his laugh and his whole demeanor and I feel for my cousins who are now fatherless even though they are all adults.

I prayed and pray God receives him and that his soul does rest in peace, but I am wondering if the lack of tears or crying on my part, means I fell short of mourning my uncle. If it means that I didn’t grieve my uncle properly. I am sort of torn on how to grief for my uncle or the lack thereof of grief, for my uncle.

Uncle ‘Pa’ George, RIP . Until we meet again, we will all miss you. Rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He alone knows best. We love you and miss you. We started the year with a bang I guess. My inner sarcastic self speaking.

Have a blessed night and please say a prayer for me and my family and my uncle. Thank you for stopping by and I would appreciate any kinds words you have for me during this difficult time.

Have a blessed night.

My Weightloss Journey

As I wrote in one of my earlier post today, I resolved to be focused and driven for the New Year and mine starts today.

 

One of the things I have always wanted to do three years in a row now has been to lose weight. I have read all kinds of books, articles on loosing weight. I have signed up for gym membership only to end up not using it and I have bought numerous workout videos only for them to stare back at me on my DVD shelf.

 

I remember telling myself severally that ” it’s the intention that counts” as they always say, but failed to realize that when it came to my body, a goal that was as personal and important to me as loosing weight, only the intention would not cut it. If it did, I should have melted right off the face of this earth since I would have shrunk to an invisible existence from such good intentions.

 

Only my actions towards those intentions weren’t enough. It didn’t suffice for me to just buy the workout DVDs without actually working out, it didn’t suffice me signing up for gym membership without actually going, it didn’t suffice buying and reading the many diet books, weight loss articles without actually doing it.

 

Several times I would start my day right, waking up and working out, having a healthy and weight-loss-focused breakfast only to mess it all up by afternoon or sometimes doing well in the afternoon only to mess it all up by evening.

 

With each mess up came defeat and lack of drive to continue the next day or to the next meal and I would just give up and have several days/weeks of no exercise, bad eating. I always wondered what I could do to end the cycle and in all the many books and articles that I read on loosing weight, no advice quite struck a chord like the one I read on Yahoo a few days ago.

 

It was a woman who succeeded to lose 100 lbs and said her motivation was that, there is always the next meal to correct her mistakes if she messed up because there will be mess ups. She didn’t beat herself too much about them but will accept the defeat and make amends by the next meal. Being focused on what she ate, accepting and fixing her mess ups helped her and gradually she had lesser and lesser mess ups and eventually lost all the weight.

 

So I am starting mine today, I pray to stay focused and not beat myself too much when I slip, to not deny myself anything because it will only push me to extremes later, to take everything in moderation and to exercise at least 30 minutes/four days a week for starters.

 

That said, today is my Day 1:

 

No workout today so far, woke up late but I hope I can squeeze it in later in the evening.

 

Breakfast, not good: had a Chick-Fil-A spicy chicken biscuit with coffee. taken it in stride and hope to have a better lunch and dinner.

 

As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail, so I am going to plan my meals for the rest of the day and update later whether or not I kept to it.

 

lunch plan: subway six-inch turkey sandwich

 

dinner plan: spinach salad with baked breaded Panko fish

 

lets see how that goes and hope to drink lots of water.

 

Update: 11:45 PM

 

The day has ended and I did stick to my meal plans for both lunch and dinner, but dinner was a lot bigger because I guess I got radical too quick with lunch which left me hungrier by dinner.  I drank lots of water today too but I wasn’t able to get in a workout as I hoped because I worked late.

 

One of the advice that I have come across over and over while reading countless diet books, weight loss advice articles, etc is that it is always good to have a support network.Be it random people, family or friends who are either providing the support by sharing the journey with you or just there to urge you to keep going when you feel like giving up. So I am asking you to please join me on this journey, I will take any encouragement I can get and if you are sharing the journey,even better as it will be great to lean on each other.

 

So I am setting my alarm hoping to wake up and work out. I don’t have a meal plan yet, just hoping to stay health conscious with my meal picks tomorrow and chronicle it all here. I am still up late because I was here updating my site and now I find I am hungry. It is usually at times like this that I eat the most junk. So without further ado, I will leave you here and hope to join to here again tomorrow.

 

Peace, love, goodnightm

 

Reflections

We are three weeks away from 2014. I have had enough time in the last few days at any given opportunity to think about this year: its highs and lows, successes and failures, achievements and under achievements, and especially the resolutions that i had set at the beginning of 2013 that i now realize did not materialize.

If there is anything i had hoped for and prayed for most to have this year, it was focus and drive but examining the days past, i realize it eluded me as usual. I knew that setting numerous resolutions as i always did in the past from loosing weight, to finishing a writing project, to traveling and exploring more would not have come to pass, so instead, i resolved to be more focused and driven.

Focus and drive because i knew that if i had those two, i would somehow be able to achieve anything i put my mind to, but i think i just didn’t have enough of it. Sometimes i was more focused and driven than at other times and with particular objectives. I wish it had translated to all of my projects but i know that 2014, a new year, is always a time, a second chance to do it better and well.

So i decided this morning i am not going to wait for January 1st of 2014 to resolve to be focused and driven and i begin today. Starting with my writing which is why i resumed today. I have made countless excuses as to why i have not written since my first post, saying i was busy with school. But somehow, i found time to watch movies, shop and visit friends but couldn’t find the time to do what i am passionate about which is writing.

I also know why i was reluctant to write, which is the fear of rejection. If there is any lesson i have learned in this year, is that people will always criticize even when they don’t know why they are criticizing. That i will not and cannot make every body happy all of the time. That no matter the criticism and rejection, as long as i am confident with what i put out and in myself, i will be just fine and to not reject all criticism because some are actually my learning tools.

So with all of these lessons, i set out today to make this my official first post, promising myself to be focused and driven to write at least one post a day, even if it is just a word. To focus on my writing this year and do a lot more reading than i have in the past, to read one new book every month starting from now and to finally loose the weight.

To keep myself motivated and focused, i have decided to chronicle my weight loss journey here,my workouts if i do, what i eat through the day with the hope that it keeps me accountable to myself and inspires me to go further.

I cannot sit by waiting for January which is three weeks away to effect changes in my life when i could start right now. I hope you who stumbled upon this post can realize like me that three weeks is too much time to waste and get on with whatever it is you resolve to do next year and start now.

To move forward in life no matter what area it is, we have to accept and come to terms with our failures, examine why we failed, accept it as a learning experience, seek the solution and act on it. I will not lie to you that i am not disappointed sometimes or even mad when i reflect on the past, but that is just what it is, the past. I have accepted and i am looking to move forward.

So my new year begins today December 11th when i had the wake up call and made the decision to act on it. I have so many goals for this new year and hope to accomplish them but my resolve remains the same as last year’s ; i resolve to be more focused and driven because with these, i can accomplish those goals.

Forgive me for jumping the gun because while i celebrate Christmas and wish you a marvelous one with family and friends, i would like to wish you a Happy New Year first, that way your Christmas would be extraordinary.

peace,love…..